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Monster-in-Law
DVD disk
Aug 26, 2005 By: JaneBlo
Monster-in-Law order
Director:
Robert Luketic

Actors:
Jane Fonda
Jennifer Lopez
Michael Vartan

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
In modern-day southern California, a successful professional named Kevin Fields (Michael Vartan) meets the future love of his life Charlie (Jennifer Lopez), a dog walker and temp, and eventually decides to marry her. But what Kevin doesn’t realize is that his mother Viola (Jane Fonda), a rich and powerful TV personality, will do everything in her power to prevent that from happening. A series of unfortunate, and therefore funny, events unfold as the duo of future mother and daughter-in-law lock horns and the crazy antics begin.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
The two main reasons I liked this movie were Jane Fonda and Wanda Sykes who plays Ruby, Viola’s assistant. What can I say? I’m a notorious Jennifer Lopez thrasher and I respect good humor (Sykes) and great talent (Fonda) so that’s the deal. There were also great supporting actors in this movie such as Adam Scott as Benny, Lopez’s neighbor and friend, and Elaine Stritch as Gertrude, the mother-in-law to end all mother-in-laws, who plays Viola’s mother-in-law in the movie. They were humorous and this movie in general was funny, but the problem for me was that I knew it could’ve been much funnier, or maybe there had been too much hype before the movie came out and perhaps, I may have been expecting too much from this. The last two lines in the film which Wanda Sykes delivers are hilarious, for example. But the rest of her lines were just all right in terms of humor. Teaming her up with Fonda was wonderful thinking. Also, I thought Jennifer Lopez was way too typical in this role, and the ending was a bit too perfect for my taste too. Now on to the eye candy.

Michael Vartan is hot in this movie, and he’s not bad as an actor either. He did have great chemistry with his on-screen love, but in general this movie was mostly a study in contrast of the two main female leads, Fonda and Lopez, and so Vartan’s role was not as important here. The funniest scene of all was the one where the two leading ladies were sleeping together, Fonda rocks in it. The other eye candy would have to be the location, southern California, which is discussed in one of the features later, but I think that place is quite beautiful and I enjoyed seeing it on screen. Call me weird. In conclusion, I’d have liked it if this movie were funnier and not so predictable either. That said, I didn’t have a bad time watching it, except when J-Lo was on screen…not nice, JaneBlo, okay, I’ll stop.
THE EXTRAS
Deleted Scenes: Running approximately 20 minutes, these 7 scenes are interesting enough, especially the scene where Jennifer Lopez gets her ass kicked around on the bed by Jane Fonda. It’s always fun to see J-Lo get her ass kicked.

Ruby’s Make-Up Bag: A silly music video starring Wanda Sykes as Ruby and two half-naked men cavorting around on stage.

Gag Reel: A very funny look into the bloopers and gags on set. I only wish it lasted longer than 5 minutes, it’s that good.

Documentaries:

Welcome Back, Jane Fonda: A short (less than ten minute) featurette on Ms. Fonda’s first acting role in 15 years. Cool, especially for someone like me who likes Fonda.

Keepin’ It Real With Jennifer: As real as you can get with someone as phony as her, but whatever. This is Jennifer Lopez’s moment and we see her acting all nice on set and stuff. 5 minutes long.

Robert Luketic The Man Behind the Monster: The longest “documentary” in the series, this 20 minute look into every single excruciating aspect of film-making was my least favorite feature as it was way too detailed. If you adored the movie, it’s worth checking out though.

Vartan, the Man: From watching this short behind-the-scenes featurette into Michael Vartan’s psyche, one finds out he really likes poker and he’s good at it too. Be forewarned. He seems like a good guy, and by the way, is he Armenian or not? I wish they’d discussed that in this feature.

Trendsetters: Lifestyles and Fashions: A two-parter on the LA scene, and into the fashions that Fonda and Lopez wear in this film. Around ten minutes and all in all, not a bad addition to the features.

Trailers: Two teaser trailers of the movie as well as a theatrical one.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Basically, if you like “The Wedding Planner” type of movies, then this is definitely right up your alley. I couldn’t help but be reminded of that other J-Lo movie here as both star her and both are very formula, Hollywood-y movies. Other than that, this movie was not that bad because it had some good actors and humor in it, and Jane Fonda being in it was the other thing that made this movie not suck. The DVD package was decent, and did not include a director audio commentary for once (Yeah!) and had some good laughs too, especially in the gag reel. So be warned those of you who like me, are not fans of the typical, but if you feel like wasting an hour and a half of your time checking out Fonda’s comeback role in a lighthearted, fun comedy, then rent or buy this movie soon.
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